The Match King

The Match King : Ivar Kreuger, the Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals

3.81 (546 ratings by Goodreads)
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At the height of the roaring 20s, Swedish migr Ivar Kreuger made a fortune raising money in America and loaning it to Europe in exchange for matchstick monopolies. His enterprise was a rare success story throughout the Great Depression. Yet after Kreugers suicide in 1932, the true nature of his empire emerged. Driven by success to adopt ever-more perilous practices, Kreuger had turned to shell companies in tax havens, fudged accounting figures, off-balance-sheet accounting, even forgery. He created a raft of innovative financial products many of them precursors to instruments wreaking havoc in todays markets. When his Wall Street empire collapsed, millions went bankrupt. Frank Partnoy, a frequent commentator on financial disaster for the Financial Times, New York Times, NPR, and CBSs 60 Minutes, recasts the life story of a remarkable yet forgotten genius in ways that force us to re-think our ideas about the wisdom of crowds, the invisible hand, and the free and unfettered market.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 521.63g
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1586487434
  • 9781586487430
  • 489,047

Review quote

George A. Needham, Founder and Chairman of Needham & Company
"The tale of Ivar Krueger, vividly brought to life by Frank Partnoy, is a reminder that Wall Street has not changed much since the late 1920's. The players change, but the animal spirits remain the same. Anyone interested in today's financial crisis will be captivated by this story.""Time," January 13, 2009
"Frank Partnoy has an exceptionally well-timed book on Ivar Kreuger coming out."

Robert A. G. Monks, author of "Corpocracy" and "The New Global Investors"
""The Match King" is a skillfully told tale of the romance and the corruption involved in attempting to be on top of the world. How did Krueger enlisted the loyalty of the people essential to him? Yes, some he bought, but most -- he beguiled."

Ron Chernow, "The New Yorker," 3/23
"An engrossing study of Ivar Kreuger."

"Kirkus," 4/1
"A pertinent, timely tale of financial fraud and how it was maintained for so long."

"Booklist," review 4/15
"A timely and excellent book."

"Wall Street Journal"
"Frank Partnoy tells the story of Kreuger's rise and calamitous fall in an eminently readable and scholarly biography...the tale of the Match King holds lessons for our own day and for future generations."

"An absorbing tale and a poignant reminder that every boom has its scoundrels...Partnoy gives us a rich account of the Roaring Twenties' most astounding confidence man"

"The Economist"
"["The Match King"] provides a fascinating insight into how high society falls prey to such colourful characters. Kreuger's story is uncannily relevant today."

"New Jersey Star Ledger"
"Ivar Kreuger, the super-secretive Swede who made Ponzi look like a piker, doesn't readily come to mind when discussing over-the-top scamsters. But Frank Partnoy's spreadsheet-thorough book should help change that."
""The Match King" is a fun, thought-provoking read that might have seem
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About Frank Partnoy

Frank Partnoy is the author of F.I.A.S.C.O.: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader and Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Greed Corrupted the Financial Markets. He has worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and a corporate lawyer, and has testified as an expert before both the United States Senate and House of Representatives. A graduate of Yale Law School, he currently teaches law at the University of San Diego.
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Rating details

546 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 23% (123)
4 44% (238)
3 28% (152)
2 5% (26)
1 1% (7)
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